Tori Takes It On: Lunch Lady - News, Sports and Weather

Tori Takes It On: Lunch Lady

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We all remember our school lunch ladies. We could never forget the food they made, the kids they served and the uniform they wore. But how much do we really know about their job? To find out, some would say you should take a walk in their shoes, or in this case, a walk in their hair net. And let me tell you there's nothing like wearing a hair net and serving some good food.

But with 500 students to serve at East Middle School, along with another five other elementary schools to feed, I was scared. That's nearly 1,800 students! So I had to ask one of their lunch ladies, Dena Pachek, how does she do it? Dena explained they, "Do a lot of preparing, making sure everything is sanitary, making sure everything is food safe, and just everything we're doing is to help the students."

She's right. There's a lot of prepping. Today is taco day, but they get way more than tacos. On top of this hot meal option, which includes cooking chicken, rice, and corn, these kids are offered salads, apples, oranges, kiwis, sandwiches, wraps and the list goes on.

But with so many healthy options, you would think these meals could get pretty expensive, but they're not. Students at East Middle School only have the pay $2.55 per meal, and there are even reduced or free options. Dena says all you need to do is, "Come in. Speak with one of us and we can give them paperwork. They can go online to the Great Falls Public Schools website. Go to the lunch program site and we have all the computer information there so they can fill it out online and submit it."

Talk about a meal deal! But this meal requires a lot of work, even after the cooking process is over. Once they are hot and ready, 1,300 go to other schools. The rest stay here, but not for long.

When that lunch bell rings, the students come running and it is world wind! But it was a lot of fun. I got to work with great women, who love their job, and more importantly enjoy giving kids the nutrition they need. So next time you run into one of these ladies give them a plastic glove salute. They certainly deserve it!

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